Day 15: Green grin.

I've moved on to new elastics!

These have both a pro and a con.

Pro - they're further back so they can't be seen so easily!
Con- they're green.

They're also SO awkward to put on. I'm still fairly swollen inside my mouth, and I have to hook one of the elastics to a bottom tooth. It was very frustrating to do, but I got there in the end. Also the orthodontist caught one of my stitches (or something), it was so painful it immediately bought tears to my eyes!

But a good thing to report - I can grin! It makes the swelling a bit more obvious, but I feel this is the first 'grin' that doesn't look like a grimace. Yay!


The elastics are on in a kind of parallelogram fashion. It was a bit awkward to take a photo of the elastics in their entirety, but hopefully you get the idea! 

I'm also going back to the ice tonight. My jaw really hurts after the orthodontists, plus it feels like the elastics are moving my teeth. I dunno if that's the point of them - I've been told that they're supposed to guide my jaw and stop it from feeling lost. 

That's all for now - I have a surgeon appointment on Monday so I'll update then! 

I'll leave you to enjoy this silly photo of me (I'm starting to be able to make stupid faces again). 

B x

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Day 14: Two week milestone!

It's been two weeks! 14 days. 336 hours.

Whatever time frame you want to use, it's gone so quickly. It's scaring me! With this two week milestone comes an exciting development - I can now use a straw! This makes me super happy. I discovered this when out with my mum and some family friends at a cafe. I had ordered a mocha frappe and was just resorting to using a spoon but I thought 'why not try the straw?' And it worked! This made frappe consumption much more enjoyable.

That's pretty much all that happened today. I'm still struggling to get my energy back, and I feel so sluggish in the mornings! This often results in me sleeping in until midday (oops). I'm not sure how much quality sleep I'm getting but I wake up at least once in the night. I haven't had a whole nights sleep undisturbed since pre surgery! But I feel my energy is every so slowly on the up.

I had an another elastic episode today. Just as I was starting to write this post, it snapped just like that! And my elastics were doing so well - my orthodontist put them on last week and I have another appointment tomorrow. So very nearly a whole week.

Here are my day 14 photos!

Now I've reached the two week mark, I'll probably start updating when interesting developments come about plus weekly milestones. I don't want my blog to become boring, and I get the feeling it will if I continue to update every single day! As I mentioned before, I have an orthodontist appointment tomorrow so I'll probably update then!

Thanks for tagging along so far,

B x

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Day 13: Driving by.

'Sup! Day 13 has seen me take my very first post op drive. It felt so good! It was very tiring, but well worth the sense of freedom that came with it. I took a trip with my mum to a local gardening center (which is obviously THE place to be) and it was really nice to just potter around looking at all the gifts and plants. I'm starting to sound like a little old lady that doesn't get out much! But the truth is, I am getting fed up of staying in the house all the time. I think getting out when you're able to is an essential part of recovery, wherever it may be!

Driving selfie! (Taken before setting off)

Pretty plants at the garden center

I've just realised I set off for my first drive on day 13 - but for any of you who are superstitious nothing bad happened (: 

On a food note, I keep on getting cravings for food I'm just not allowed to have! These cravings annoyed me so much I actually went and got a single cracker and proceeded to suck on tiny little cracker pieces. I managed to eat half, no chewing involved out of pure stubbornness. Whey! 

Here are my day 13 photos. I cannot believe I'm nearly at the two week milestone! Time is flying by (: 

See you on day 14! 

B x

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Day 12: The first drink.

So I'm going to start this blog post the way most English people seem to start a conversation - by talking about the weather. And we've had some freakishly good weather pretty much since surgery day! This made the hospital unbearably hot when I was staying there, but now I'm starting to get out and about and really appreciate the summer.

Today's outing consisted of visiting the very pretty village of Willian, and having my first 'drink' since surgery day! At day 12 I'm not sure if this is a bit naughty. But nothing horrible happened and I really enjoyed sipping my pimm's and lemonade in the sun, complete with an entire fruit bowl in my glass which unfortunately had to be left. After this I went on the tiniest of walks around the village with my parents. I'm trying to get a bit of walking done each day, so when I eventually return to work it's not going to be a horrible shock.

 That was the main event of my day. Pain has been not a problem at all, just the occasional ache. Nerves are still tingling! They actually really annoyed me last night as they kept me from getting to sleep. I also had a bit of a shock when trying to get some food off my elastic bands at dinner (lovely) and it pinged me right on the tongue! Ouch.

Here are my day 12 photos. The profile shot isn't in great lighting, but I thought my profile looked really striking here. I also appear to me smiling - not intentionally done but I thought my smiling profile looked pretty cool.

That has been day 12! I hope all your jaw journeys are going smoothly.

B x

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Day 11: Tingling times.

My nerves are coming back to life! And it feels so weird! But this is a very very positive sign.

I forgot to mention that during surgery my nerve wasn't uncovered at all, it was completely buried. Which of course, is very good news. But that fact that things are slowly coming back to life is extremely encouraging!

With the help of Microsoft paint I've tried my best to show the areas of my face that have feeling, no feeling or returning feeling.


Such greatness, such inspiration my artwork invokes! I laughed a lot when I made this. Who knows, this could end up in the Tate? 

Anyway, the key - 

Red = total feeling
Blue = no feeling
Yellow = returning feeling.

I suppose my next calling in life has to be makeup artist, or just plain artist extraordinaire.

With that done, the events of today consisted of lots of lazing around and sleeping this morning (I was KNACKERED after yesterday!) and an adventure into town in the afternoon! It's my theory that if I start to get out the house and walk a little bit, my body will start to get used to the required energy levels! I only live in a small market town, so there wasn't that much walking involved, but it felt so good to get out of the house to somewhere other than the hospital/doctors. I went with my mum to look round the shops and the market. Our trip ended with a yummy mocha :P

These are my day 11 photos (minus my crazy artwork).

My mum confessed that she can't stop staring at me, haha. I suppose she'll get used to my new face/profile in time (as will I).

B x

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Day 10: Fun with friends and working woes.

I. Am. Knackered.

To somebody else this day probably seems quite trivial, but it felt action packed to me! It was a day full of visitors, which of course was very fun but extremely tiring. I had friends over this morning, including my dear friend who is flying off to Japan tomorrow! I'm gonna miss her so much. She's been there for a year before, but this time it could be longer. Here's a photo of us plus me trying my best to smile and look normal (I think I look kinda shifty). My friend El who is leaving us all is the one on my right (:

Next up was a doctors appointment. My time off work runs out on Tuesday - which marks my 2 week anniversary of having my surgery! And that scared me a little bit, because I'm definitely not ready to go back to work. I asked for some more time off, and my doctor gave me 2 weeks starting from today which makes me feel much better. My job requires high energy levels (controlling 20+ kids by myself) and I felt knackered from the 5 minute walk to the doctors and back! So much so I had to have an emergency nap before my next visitor.

This was another friend (by herself), so it didn't require as much energy as the morning, but I was still tired nonetheless! Her reaction was quite funny when she saw me, I thought she was going to cry but apparently that's how she looks when she's surprised? I did get her seal of approval which is just fine (:

After my tirade of visitors I had to have a mammoth sleep before dinner. Dinner was awesome, as it was my very first one where it's not all mushed mixed up into one big slop. I had meat pie (although not the pastry, so I guess that would make it meat slop), mashed potato and mashed broccoli. It felt so good to pick and choose from my plate. Just eating the same thing in one sitting had started to get quite boring, because there was no variation in taste and texture.

Pain has been playing up today in the form of headaches and earaches. I'm not sure if that's from having such a tiring day, or if it's from changes in pressure/swelling/nerves etc. Or it could be a mixture. I've had some paracetamol which seems to have sorted it.

Here are my day 10 photos (double figures now woo!) I reckon my swelling has gone down significantly, although my face still feels huge to me! I felt comfortable being seen in public for the first time though (:

I've just realised it doesn't look like I'm wearing a lot, but those are actually pyjamas (haha). This has been a late night blog post.

Nighty nighty, pyjama pyjama! (I'm such a dork)

B x

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Day 9: Getting my craft on.

Nothing much to report today - except I feel I have done my first every productive thing post op! It felt great, because the majority of my recovery has just been sitting around (I didn't feel like doing much because I thought it would be exhausting!)

I mentioned in a previous post that one of my close friends is moving to Japan - so I made her a good luck card. It felt nice to sit down and complete a task, and get something from it! This has made me want to plan/set targets for each day so it has felt like I've achieved something.

It was pretty simple to make, apart from the Japanese characters! They took an age to cut out. It's supposed to say 'good luck!' so fingers crossed that is what it actually says. And fingers crossed she likes it! I'm seeing her and some other friends tomorrow as it will be her last day in the UK ):

Aside from being crafty, I had my gran come to visit which was nice. The story about the missing card greatly amused her, hopefully it won't happen again!

Recovery wise, today has been a good day. I haven't had to take any pain medication at all! There is occasionally a dull ache, but that's OK to deal with. And I don't seem to be noticing my swelling as much, unless I'm getting used to it?

That's all for now. As each day goes past I seem to have less to update with! I'll probably start to update less when I get to day 14, otherwise this could start to get boring very quickly :P

B x

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Day 8: Orthodontic adventures and the mysterious missing post.

Day 8 is upon us and with it came a bit of a mystery!

I received a phone call from my doctors surgery, and I was half expecting it to be about my recent jaw surgery. But no, it was about some undelivered post! It turns out my gran sent me a get well card, but to the wrong number (47 instead of 48). 47 had no idea who I was, but managed to get me to contact her through the surgery which was some pretty clever thinking on her part. So we arranged for the card to be left under her doormat, as she would be out. She also said she had opened the card as she was expecting an anniversary card through the post. Anyway, I went and got the card, opened it and found £10 inside! My gran had sent £10 my way, and I was so thankful for this kind stranger to get in contact with me about it. It goes to show there are honest and trustworthy people about! I was so touched I had to put a thank you card through her door. My gran is supposed to be visiting me tomorrow, so fingers crossed she doesn't turn up there. I have to admit that was a fairly interesting start to the day!

Mystery solved!
Now onto jaw related stuff. I had my first post op orthodontist appointment which was pretty exciting. I don't have to wear elastics in that annoying upside down 'V' shape anymore. Instead I have two elastic either side, which means I can eat with them in! Before I was taking my elastics off to eat, which I got a bit of a telling off for (but it was really hard to eat with them in now I'm eating with a spoon). My broken bracket can't be fixed because I'm too swollen, but it's not doing any damage so that's cool (: 

Behold my elastics and day 8 photos!

And now onto food, I had pretty much the same stuff as yesterday expect for dinner which was a yummy cheesy mashed potato with baked beans. All eaten with elastics on! 

Went a bit downhill with pain today and had to get the ice back on. But I suspect that was because there was a lot of poking around at the orthodontists today.

That's all for day 8 - thinking of Isabel who should be in the very first stages of recovery right now!

B x

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Day 7: One week milestone!


Time goes so fast, I honestly cannot believe that this time last week I had just been in theatre! Recovery is still going smoothly, thank goodness! To celebrate this one week milestone, I have compiled a list of all the things I couldn't do last week that I can do now.

This time last week I couldn't -

  • Move without throwing up
  • Eat without throwing up
  • Eat with a spoon
  • Eat full stop 
  • Go to the toilet without help
  • Wash without help
  • Move without help
  • Manage my own pain relief
  • Get things for myself (food, drink, ice etc) 
  • Talk clearly
  • Clean my teeth 
  • Walk without getting weak in the legs
It seems like I've come so far in just one week! It really does amaze me how quickly the body can get over trauma. 

Today has been pretty good, as one of my friends visited me! It was great to see her as she's going off to live in Japan from this Saturday, so there was a lot of chatting. I have also started to document my food, which others might find helpful. Breakfast was mushed up wheetabix with LOTS of milk, lunch was oxtail soup, and dinner was more whizzed up spaghetti bolognese. I'm definitely eating less often (it used to be every couple of hours, like a baby!) 

Today I made a bit of an unwelcome discovery regarding my elastics. One of the bottom brackets that my elastics hooks onto has become loose! Luckily I have my first post op ortho visit tomorrow, so that should be fixed pretty soon. 

Here are my day 7 photos - they're not that different to day 6 but I have reached my one week milestone (: 

That's it for day 7. Best of luck to Isabel for her surgery tomorrow! You've been waiting so long for a solid date, you totally deserve it plus all the luck in the world (: 

B x

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Day 6: My first post op adventure (to the hospital)

Day 6 has seen me take my first grand adventure out in public! This was only to the hospital, but it felt good to get out and about.

I had my first post op appointment with my surgeon today, and I am happy to report that everything is healing up very nicely, and that my surgeon seemed happy with my bite. I have also been given the go ahead to try and put my syringes down and attempt soft food! It seems really early, but I'm very thankful to eat filling food. On a food related note, something fairly shocking and unexpected happened at lunch today. I have discovered that I can successfully eat brie, as it is a soft cheese and just melts in my mouth when eaten in very small amounts. I was enjoying my brie so much I opened my mouth a little too wide, and... SNAP. There goes my elastics. Everything was fine, but I was so shocked when it happened! I managed to fix new elastics successfully. 

At dinner I was able to eat whizzed up spaghetti bolognese with a baby plastic spoon. This felt amazing, as I could actually eat fairly quickly and satisfy my hunger sooner. About soft food, I reckon I am only at this stage so soon because my surgeon doesn't wire patients up with lots elastics after surgery. I only have one elastic band in my mouth stretched between 3 teeth, which I am allowed to take out to eat (although I didn't know that in the brie incident!) 

More exciting progress has been made - I can now take little sips of water instead of using a syringe! I still use a syringe for more gloopy drinks like milkshake, but I feel this has been a big step forward. I was also clearly understood in a 20 minute phone call to my gran. She couldn't believe how well I was talking (again I think this is to do with the lack of elastic bands). 

Here are my day 6 photos including shot of my teeth with the elastic band. Unfortunately I couldn't get a photo of my X rays as they are at the hospital I had the surgery at. Hopefully I can get them on here, because you have to admit all those screws and plates look pretty cool on X ray. 

Behold my day 6 photos - 

I actually bothered to make my hair look nice today, haha. I had much more energy today compared to any other day since surgery. I didn't have to have a nap until about 7pm! 

That, folks, has been day 6. 

Adios amigos, 

B x

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Update: Days 0-5

Hi everyone!

Sorry for the lack of updates, I definitely underestimated how low my energy was going to be post op! At times it has felt a bit disabling, but energy levels are slowly on the up which is great (:

So this post will be a run through of my experiences of having orthognathic surgery and recovery days 0-5!

Day 0 

This was 22nd July, admission day! Admission was at 7am and I was feeling very nervous, but luckily I didn't have to wait long to go to theatre. I went down at 8:30 am and was allowed to take my mum with me which was really comforting. They even let her stay with me in the anaesthetic room until I went to sleep (even though I told her she didn't have to!) The surgery took 3 hours in total.

Next thing I knew I was coughing and gagging, but that's all I remember (I think they were taking the breathing tube out). Then I woke up properly, realised I was in recovery and for some reason couldn't stop moving! It was like I was doing a dance in bed, as well as constantly talking to the nurses. When my surgeon came to see me in recovery I learnt that they had given me COCAINE in theatre (hence the reaction). I was absolutely shocked, I had no idea it was used for medicinal purposes. I looked up the uses later on and it's supposed to help reduce bleeding by making your blood vessels smaller as well as numbing the area. But under the influence I apparently high fived my surgeon and conducted to my heart beat (which was heard on the monitor).

These pictures were taken in recovery (sorry for the slightly gory one!) I had NO elastics or wires on whatsoever! Some surgeons prefer not to use them, but the lack of elastics etc at this stage didn't bother me one bit. I was so pleased with my recovery profile shot, as swelling hadn't started yet so I could kind of see results already!

Once I had calmed down and a bed was available, I was taken to the ward. It was pretty rough from there, I vomited blood a total of 12 times (I went through several gowns) and also had issues which led to having a catheter ): My mum also didn't take well to the throwing up blood thing and went out into the corridor and fainted! Luckily she was ok and the nurses took care of her. And this leads us to the next day!

Day 1 

The morning didn't start off well at all. Each morning the nurses made the patients get out of bed and sit on their chairs whilst the beds were being made. I had learnt in the night that movement led to me being sick, which of course had to happen as my surgeon and his team came to see me. I didn't feel very flattering with all these people looking interestingly at me whilst I was sat there dribbling bloody sick and wearing a catheter. It was declared that I would have to stay an extra night to let the sickness settle and that he would see me the following morning. Eating was a nightmare, the nurses didn't seem to understand that I needed a liquid diet with syringes. They tried to give me ice cream with a spoon. Luckily the leek and potato soup was a better success which could be syringed. The day passed with not a lot going on, mostly drifting in and out of sleep. I would have to wait an extra day to go on a tour of the hospital to visit X ray and orthodontics!

I slept well that night, apart from being suddenly woken by a porter accidentally bashing a trolley into my bed! (A patient had been transferred to my ward in the middle of the night)

Day 2 

I was feeling much better on this day, with the exception of frustration at the nurses regarding food. For breakfast there was the choice of toast or cornflakes. When I said I couldn't eat either, I waited 2 hours for ice cream that I couldn't eat anyway! Lunch was a weird pate thing with a SPOON which reminded me of cat food. But luckily I was being discharged that day, so I was looking forward to going home and actually eating for the first time in days! I went on my tour of the hospital for x rays and orthodontics. I had to be transported in a wheelchair because I was so weak from not eating anything. The X rays were amazing to see (I didn't get any pictures but will do soon!) and the orthodontist put some elastics on my braces.

The discharge from hospital was pretty eventful and confusing. This time it was my sister who had a fainting session in the corridor (it was very hot). I missed my pain relief because my drugs chart was in the pharmacy, so I couldn't have any medicine. Then they tried to discharge me without taking my cannula out. There was also no dietitian or advice on food. Once the cannula had been sorted, we were ready to go. Unfortunately it was my turn to have a moment and sit down outside the hospital on my way out. I felt very dizzy and weak, so some nurses had to come and help me to the car. But I was finally on my way home!

Days 3-5

This is where the rehabilitation and rebuilding begins! Having nutritious food that I could actually eat for the first time in days was amazing. So far I have had banana milkshake, chocolate milkshake, whizzed up scrambled eggs, soup with super mashed potato and smoothies. I've lost half a stone in 4 days. Weight loss was to be expected, but it probably didn't help that I had pretty much nothing to eat in hospital. Pain hasn't been bad at all when pain relief is taken regularly, and from day 4 swelling has starting to go down. I even ventured out to see my nan on day 4 (in the car of course). Energy levels have been up and down but lucozade has been my saviour. I still get odd moments where I suddenly feel faint and weak in the legs. I'm still sleeping well which I'm very grateful for. I also think I'm lucky on the swelling and bruising front! From other blogs I've been following, I've seen swelling much worse than mine. I am starting to get some bruising at day 5, but it's very faint and not that noticeable (like a slight curry stain!) 

Day 3

 Day 4

 Day 5

I have an appointment with my surgeon tomorrow which should be interesting! I'll be able to get some pictures of my X rays, plus I'll be looking a bit better than the last time my surgeon saw me. Sorry if this post has been a bit garbled or disorganised to read, I'm definitely not at my blogging best right now. Onward and upwards as they say (:

Thanks for you kind comments, they were a great source comfort when I was in hospital (:

Will update soon,

B x

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